Sense of Place: Harbor House Inn

Maria Nguyen

" When guests ask me what's on the menu next week, I have no idea.

Nestled off a secluded and rugged strip of Mendocino coast is Harbor House Inn, an oceanside destination that’s home to a 2 Michelin starred restaurant headed by chef Matthew Kammerer.

To get here, seekers of this magical corner of earth must commit to driving through windy roads without phone reception; luckily the journey is paid off with breathtaking redwood forests and unspoiled views of the coastline.

At the restaurant, Matthew gives life to humble local products through unlikely Japanese techniques — a nod to his time cooking in Japan. Foraged porcini, local low-tide harvested uni, or vegetables sourced from its farm are all examples of star ingredients featured on a 12-course tasting menu. No day is the same when it comes to what is served on the menu because the products are so heavily dependent on the weather and availability.

“When guests asks me what’s on the menu next week, I have no idea,” says Matthew. “I will know the night before.”

Mendocino isn’t only embodied in the cuisine, it’s also permeates through the subtle details within the restaurant. From the chopstick rests made of abalone shells, the native redwood table at the center of the restaurant, to the handmade ceramics crafted by local artisans, all tell their own story about the area.

Harbor House Inn is truly a one of a kind place where the environment draws its visitors in to disconnect and be in sync with nature — the Mendocino way of living. Watch the entire episode now.

About This Series:
Sense of Place is a series about restaurants that fully embody their surroundings — from the people and ingredients to the landscape they’re situated in.

Director: Maria Nguyen
Director of Photography: Yves Huy Truong
Sound Engineer: Dylan Agajanian
Voice: Matthew Kammerer